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 Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion

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The House of Ainsley
Keeper of the Dark Mirror
The House of Ainsley

Male Number of posts : 2262
Age : 47
Location : The Dark Heart of Bardosylvania

Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion - Page 5 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion   Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion - Page 5 Icon_minitimeSun Nov 16, 2014 4:54 pm

(Divine Intervention check (d100): 07)


Before her thoughts could come forth as the last words of her prayer, one voice, powerful and feminine, came forth as many surrounding her, each voice whispering in a deafening whisper farther than the farthest stars yet nearer than her own skin, and all reverberating among themselves without casting the faintest echo from the river's slick limestone walls:


"The water has teeth.
Has your faith not already sown
What you need to endure them?"



(Sylvea - untrained Swim check (Rough water, DC 15): Success (15))


Lithe elven legs stirred fiercely as the one voice from many ebbed, keeping Sylvea's head above the waves for the moment.  Spitting the river water from her mouth, she noted that the water tasted not foul as she expected from so much sewer spillage draining into it from far above, for the river's swiftness and volume were surely great indeed.  But for her other senses, her sister and her charge were no longer to be heard, nor did her ears find anything of sluggish Draven, for he had already been taken below the thrashing surface.  And before her, the column of candlelights, a stark beacon against the oppressive darkness, drew ever nearer.


(Sylvea - Listen check (DC 15): Failure (13))


And from high upon that column, the voices had resumed their ominous chanting.  Alas, Sylvea could not be certain of their baleful words amid the roaring water and the clapping of the waves.  But she could safely wager that no angels or archons had ever harkened to such bleak intonations as those which greeted her keen, pointed ears.


(Sylvea - Fortitude Save (DC 10): Failure (7))
(Sylvea suffers 2 Cold Damage from the river.  25 of 30 Hit Points remain.)

(Draven - Fortitude Save (DC 10): Failure (6))
(Draven suffers 2 Cold Damage (4 x 50% Cold Resistance) from the river.  2 of 19 Hit Points remain.)


But compared to her present environs, a foreboding spire rising from the river seemed far preferable to the river itself.  She could only hope that her blood would yet be warm by the time that spire could come within her reach.


Sylvea >
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Wraith
Lady Illusion
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion   Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion - Page 5 Icon_minitimeSat Nov 22, 2014 2:28 pm

Sylvea stuttered in the water, her lungs filling with unwanted fluid. Her arms flailed, her staff making unseen eddies in the water. The Voices filled her head, calming her and she began to breathe easier. Spitting water out, she closed her eyes, letting the voices carry over her, letting them resound in her soul.

She almost could have died then and there with embarrassment. With her mind clear, she could suddenly see her path. She would drift towards the spire, towards their final destination - she would have Faith in her Sister to find her own way.

She just needed to have Faith.

Smiling, she began her Chant again, but this time it was different.

(Sylvea casts "Protection From Elements: Cold")

_________________
I clawed my way back from the depths of Hell
just to piss you off
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The House of Ainsley
Keeper of the Dark Mirror
The House of Ainsley

Male Number of posts : 2262
Age : 47
Location : The Dark Heart of Bardosylvania

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion   Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion - Page 5 Icon_minitimeMon Mar 09, 2015 1:10 pm

(Sylvea casts Protection from Elements: Cold on herself.)
(The Protection from Elements spell will shield Sylvea from a total of 60 Cold Damage before it collapses.)


In that moment, as the imperiled elf bobbed among the waves of those hostile waters, Sylvea's will and Evening Glory's will became one.  For a fleeting moment, her form's every inch was wreathed in a pale nimbus of azure radiance, flickering through the dark water before fading from sight just as swiftly.  But though the aura was then unseen, a warm tingle coursing through her bones was enough to tell her that the spell's presence would remain with her for some time.

Somewhere behind her, a languid arm broke through the waves, loudly clapping down upon the water's surface before sinking again.  Was Draven still with her?  The river's omnipresent grumbling, echoed to intensity by the cavernous expanse, gave no answer.

The river swept Sylvea onward through the deepest bowels of Palemare.  For many long moments, she paddled and rolled helplessly among the foaming waters.  And all the while, the spire of firelights grew larger and larger, seeming to tower ever higher into the darkness overhead.


(Sylvea - Fortitude Save (DC 11): Success (23))
(Sylvea resists the river's chill and is unharmed.)


(Draven - Fortitude Save (DC 11): Failure (10))
(Draven suffers 1 Cold Damage (1 x 50% Cold Resistance) from the river.  1 of 19 Hit Points remain.)



(Sylvea - Fortitude Save (DC 11): Success (12))
(Sylvea resists the river's chill and is unharmed.)


(Draven - Fortitude Save (DC 11): Failure (10))
(Draven suffers 2 Cold Damage (3 x 50% Cold Resistance) from the river.  0 of 19 Hit Points remain.)

(Draven is Dead for the last time, lost to the underground river.)


To her elation, the approaching light laid bare a dock reaching across the raging waters.  The torn and tattered remnants of hempen cords wavered from the mooring posts, speaking of rafts and dinghies long since claimed by the relentless current.  But the knotted nets beneath the dock remained, stretched to span the gaps between the supporting posts and promising to catch Sylvea ere the river could bear her away to a lesser fate.

But a nagging doubt whispered in the back of her mind, and she somehow knew that when she emerged from the river at the foot of the spire, she would emerge alone...alone against what likely unwelcoming host yet chanted an infernal hymn from the pinnacle which mocked her in her distance.


(Sylvea - Fortitude Save (DC 12): Failure (6))
(Protection from Elements: Cold absorbs 6 Cold Damage; 54 points of protection remain.  Sylvea is unharmed.)


(Sylvea - Fortitude Save (DC 12): Success (15))
(Sylvea resists the river's chill and is unharmed.)


The passing of a crag which jutted from the river bed swept her below into the aquan darkness, where a crossed web of coarse and fibrous hemp closed about her body like a weeping cocoon.  Her spindly fingers clenched the algae-streaked net and drew her determinedly upward, bursting into the humid air.  With a final push off the net and out of the river, the priestess filled her lungs with a fierce gasp and rolled onto the dock, soaked through her skin and flecked with cackling torchlight from somewhere above.  A brief check of her person showed that the river had not parted her from her possessions; so relieved, Sylvea drew the Staff of the Southern Cross from its baldric and braced herself on it as she rose to her feet.

The dock began at the foot of a rising staircase which wound tightly about the broad, masoned column, and she plodded toward the promise of solid ground.  And as she came to stand before the stairs, her elven eyes took in the faint light which both scattered from above and reflected from below, to perceive what coagulated scrawl graced the cobbled wall of that spire.  And any harbored fears that the river had distanced her from the end of her quest died in that instant, only to be replaced by a contrary fear that the river had done quite the opposite.


Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion - Page 5 Sylvea-BavaturScrawl


Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion - Page 5 Music
"Disturbed and Twisted"
Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines


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Lady Illusion
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion   Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion - Page 5 Icon_minitimeTue Dec 25, 2018 11:41 am

(Okay, I'm just going to jump right back in and attempt not to kill myself lol lol)

Sylvea chooses to investigate the blood scrawl (I'm not sure what game we are playing and which rules. I'm assuming some sort of "investigate a mystery" type roll?)

_________________
I clawed my way back from the depths of Hell
just to piss you off
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The House of Ainsley
Keeper of the Dark Mirror
The House of Ainsley

Male Number of posts : 2262
Age : 47
Location : The Dark Heart of Bardosylvania

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion   Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion - Page 5 Icon_minitimeMon Dec 31, 2018 11:29 am

(It's an adventure game, of course!  Adventure can encompass anything.  Wink )

(Sylvea - Search check (DC ??): 22)

(Sylvea - Fortitude Save (DC 10): 11)
(Sylvea resists the water's chill and is unharmed.)

Though removed from the subterranean river, the broadcloth gambeson under Sylvea's wax-boiled leathers clung coldly to her goosebumped skin as she took in her surroundings with all the perception she could bring to bear.  Against the soft light glinting across the coursing water from somewhere above, Sylvea's vision could perceive traces of what would otherwise be swallowed by these black depths well beneath Palemare's streets and alleys.  But the almost imperceptible sheen of the blood was quite clear to her elven eyes, and to her the bloodied scrawling and the handprint appeared to be quite fresh; even in these humid hollows where fluids were slow to dry, she could safely wager that the gore-stained hand which left this message had done so within an hour past.

Following a subsequent impulse, she stooped to peer at the brickwork of the floor beneath her.  There she found scarlet driblets and gouts, a bloody trail joining the dock behind her with the stairs ahead.  The fading droplets of spilled water followed with the blood for three or four paces, ending in a puddle around where she stood.  Here could she deduce that what hapless soul had left the message writ in gore had emerged from the same waters which had borne Sylvea to this very place, soaked to the bones yet shedding much of that wetness as he stood in that spot to leave his thoughts on the wall, deranged as the mind from which those words sprang was likely to be.

No such scarlet dribbles had come near the stairs which descended into the waters near where she stood, stony steps which she had passed unawares.  Somewhere beneath the rippling surface, the wheeling glint of tarnish-streaked brass invited her attention; in the air above the submerged and rotating cog, she spied its like — a gear set on a vertical axis, with a concave cup ground into the anticlockwise side of each tooth — not far above the wavering brackwater, and three more not unlike it set into the tower, higher and at even increments of three feet.  And above that topmost water gear, the walkway on which she stood rose higher in its winding around the tower, a tower which, to her, seemed to have been designed with rising water in mind, but the deliberate purpose for those water wheels — or what those gears were meant to drive — was not yet clear.

But then, she noted, the trail of shed blood dribbled and splattered past her, up the stairs and beyond.  And against the wan glow across the water, her eyes bore into the toes of a pair of filth-caked shoes, badly worn and crudely stitched, peeking from around the corner yon.

And from somewhere near those poorly shod feet, the desperate rhythm of failed breath, gasping and whispering, was torn with a disconcerting giggle, and then a dry, choking cough.

...the bronchial reports of a man who had spent himself of all his breath...

...or who had laughed himself to exhaustion.

From somewhere above, the indistinct voice rose into a ponderous chant, blossoming to a crescendo before fading...indiscernible to her, and muted as it receded, yet ominous enough to set her hairs on edge.

"...mmmrrnnnlmmm...meshek gartus lugael...mrrrrrnlmmmrrn...norvas vormuroras..."


Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion - Page 5 MapSylvea029


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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion   Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion - Page 5 Icon_minitimeMon Dec 31, 2018 5:17 pm

Sylvea shivers and rubs her arms against the chill. She blinks several times and suppresses the urge to cough. As the chanting continues, she shudders again.

(I can't remember if I've cast protection from Elements - Cold - yet. If I haven't, may I please do so before my next action? If I cannot do so, I will like to get her dry(er) at least. Like, wringing out her clothes hastily, or taking some of the wet stuff off or something. Thanks)

Hefting the Staff before her, she cautiously moved up the stairs, wending her way towards the sounds above, praying that she could be reunited with her sister soon and that Arien was not harmed.

_________________
I clawed my way back from the depths of Hell
just to piss you off
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The House of Ainsley
Keeper of the Dark Mirror
The House of Ainsley

Male Number of posts : 2262
Age : 47
Location : The Dark Heart of Bardosylvania

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion   Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion - Page 5 Icon_minitimeTue Jan 01, 2019 1:16 am

(Sylvea did indeed cast Protection from Elements: Cold on herself soon after she fell into the river.  The spell will last for roughly four or five more hours...or until it negates 54 more points of Cold Damage, whichever comes first.

Now that she has exited the river, the Difficulty Class to resist the chills of hypothermia has been reduced by 2, largely because there is no wind here in the deep sewers and the hollows of the underground river.  Her clothes and armor should soon be air-dried enough to make the coolness tolerable and thereby end the need for Fortitude checks, but not just yet.)

(Also, belatedly...)


(Sylvea has earned 100 Experience for surviving the river and escaping it alive.)


With what distance she had fallen from the catwalks, Sylvea was surely parted from Ariean and their charge by a great distance.  Lost to the encroaching darkness and expanses, she could only hope that Ariean would keep Donovon safe from harm until their reunion.

...if indeed such a reunion were ever to come.  The world beneath Palemare had already proven that it was not without its grave perils, any of which could cost wandering souls everything they have and everything they are.

One such wandering soul lay sprawled on the mildew-spotted floor at Sylvea's feet as she rounded the crumbling corner of the walkway.  The wretched vagrant's moustache and lips were stained and flecked with drying sputum, its cast-off saliva leaving yellow trails down both his cheeks as his failing breath rattled in his throat.  But he could spare no hands with which to wipe the phlegm and spittle from his face, for beneath his tattered cuirass of russet-stained leather, both hands clenched his horribly claw-rent belly together with scabrous fingers and the white knuckles of desperation.  The nether seam of the calfskin scabbard looped to his tin-studded belt — the scabbard's length rigid with the oft-wielded longsword nestled within — wept with ample scarlet tears, leaving the question of how much of the spilled blood around them was his own, and how much was not.

A sleek, elven shadow fell over him in the quarter-light, and his waning gaze fluttered to rally once more.  Lifting his bruised and battered head from the filthy brickwork, he met Sylvea's inquiring eyes with a glazed, feeble stare and a trembling jaw.

"...buh...bah...bah...Bahvaht..."

A final wave of fierce convulsions swept through his limp form, silencing his pestilent lungs and twisting his arms and legs in their violent throes.  A long moment of thrashing and writhing passed, prompting Sylvea to withdraw a step to avoid the fallen man's deathly flailings.  And then the remaining pinpricks of life behind his pupils were extinguished, and his body slackened and layered itself across the floor again, limp and morbidly quiet.

(The vagrant swordsman has died, another life lost to the Laughing Death.)


Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion - Page 5 MapSylvea030


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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion   Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion - Page 5 Icon_minitimeWed Jan 02, 2019 6:00 pm

Sylvea shuddered delicately as she watched the light from the man's eyes sputter and die out. She waited a few moments, ensuring that no one came to investigate th mad ramblings, then poked him with the butt of her Staff for good measure.

Sylvea chooses to cast Sheltered Vitality on herself and then carefully search the man and his surroundings for anything useful.

_________________
I clawed my way back from the depths of Hell
just to piss you off
Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion - Page 5 Evil-smiley-facesmall
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The House of Ainsley
Keeper of the Dark Mirror
The House of Ainsley

Male Number of posts : 2262
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Location : The Dark Heart of Bardosylvania

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion   Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion - Page 5 Icon_minitimeThu Jan 03, 2019 5:39 am

(Sylvea casts Sheltered Vitality on herself)
(Sheltered Vitality confers immunity to fatigue, exhaustion, and damage and drain to Sylvea's Abilities for five minutes)

Expecting that danger could lurk around the next corner — or around any other corner henceforth — Sylvea again channeled the cold, uncanny holiness of her celestial matron.  Within her breast, her heart grew sluggish and seemed to cease its throbbing, though in truth it did not stop.  And only then was she aware of the coolness coursing languidly through her veins.  Had the chills of the river already thieved her heat so deeply from her, or was this but another grim symptom of Evening Glory's favor?

(Sylvea — Untrained Search check (DC ??): 22/Natural 20)

A forceful prod from her explorer's staff confirmed that the dead man had indeed followed the Underworld's host to his final reward.  Tearing the man's grimy hands from his belly and dropping them to the floor at his sides, her piercing eyes took note of a ring hugging the base knuckle of his left index finger, purple and darkly crystalline sculpted into a band resembling a thin rope or cord curled around a finger's witdh.  From there, she found the felled man's person simple to search.  The sword and its scabbard were patently obvious, as was the bloodied armor cobbled from cuirboilli, tanned deerskin and thick, brown broadcloth.  Rolling the body onto its wounded ribs laid bare a tufted purse through which his belt was looped; behind that purse, a purse of thick linen stained with a bygone fluid with a lingering stink, and an unadorned Angus-hide satchel, one designed to be worn over one's shoulder yet looped thrice around the belt and lashed to itself with a doubled knot, and there it had dangled from his form, less a purse and more an uncommonly large beltpouch.

With a flip of the satchel's lip, Sylvea invited the wafting of salty aromas and sweet, tangy scents, their delights undermined by the accompanying reek of green, rancid meat, with a loaf of fuzzy and equally green bread to match.  Fortunately, the fouled foodstuffs had not yet tainted what foods and draught remained with them in the folded shoulder bag: slices of apricots seared and black-striped as if pressed between two hot irons.  Thin filets of herring, their larger bones having been long cut away and discarded before the fish was dropped into dillweed and bitter vinegar to be pickled, along with several goodly slivers of carrots; though the pickling water was gone from the flat tin flask, the herring and the carrots themselves remained.  And wafers of hard, white hardtack, the edges of which had grown soggy and shapeless from exposore to the river's engulfing moisture; though decidedly tasteless and inferior to the lembas of her sylvan home, the human-baked hardtack, once softened with drink, would serve well enough as food.  And drink was not at all distant, as suggested by the two wax-stoppered bottles of green ironglass, each bottle sporting a troll's crooked face traced in black ink across its lime-tinted label, and each illustrated face sporting a thick, singly braided beard as it stared dimly back at Sylvea with burdening eyelids and a blissfully stupid, slobbering, drunken countenance.

A brief shake of the linen purse yielded the telltale clinks and jingles of coins squirreled within, but the quiet contents of the rabbitfur pouch would beg a closer examination.  Drawing the pouch's lips apart, Sylvea perceived that the pouch was thickly packed with wads of cotton fiber.  But digging through the cotton with her thumb produced a lozenge of matte yellow flecked with glinting chips of shining stone — flint, pitchblende or perhaps both — mixed in with the yellowed mass, reeking faintly of sulfur as her tapering fingers plucked one of the four sulfuric blots forth.  Surely these were what the realms knew as thunderstones, treacherous if mishandled yet prized for their alchemical power of bursting into their namesake clap of eye-biting light and ear-rupturing sound if fiercely hurled against an unyielding surface.

The swordsman had been wholly human, here bumbling and poking through the encroaching darkness.  And yet, Sylvea became aware, no lanterns, no torches and no candles were anywhere on his person to be found.  Had the river claimed his sources of light as he was carried about in its numbing embrace?  Or had he become lost in these hollows for so dreadfully long that all of his tallows and lamp oils had burned to naught?

The disconcerting chants above ebbed for a moment, replaced with the dismal tone of leaden chimes being struck in a ponderous rhythm.  Sylvea had found all that the hapless soul kept to his name at the stroke of his demise; hers was but to judge what was treasure and what was dross.


Sylvea has found the following with the swordsman's remains:

A longsword (simply designed, rusted and worn), with crude and thickly stitched cowhide scabbard.
Leather armor (bloodstained, tattered around the belly; may be serviceable after simple repairs).
A green-stained linen coinpurse with 13 Gold, 9 Silver and 19 Copper.
A ring sculpted into a braided band, carved and etched from a single amethyst.
Four thunderstones packed in wads of cotton inside a rabbitskin belt pouch.
One large cowhide satchel containing the following:
• "Auld Trollbeard Ale," one full bottle and one half-consumed bottle.
• Two days' worth of trail rations (hardtack, smoked and pickled herring, pickled carrots, seared apricots).
• One small loaf of barley bread (stale, moldy and spoiled).
• One hunk of boiled pork (rotting, liquefying and spoiled).

She is welcome to take or leave any and all of these items as she sees fit, of course.



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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion   Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion - Page 5 Icon_minitimeMon Jan 07, 2019 5:34 pm

After a bit of rooting around, Sylvea surveys what she has discovered. She almost immediately disregards the worn armor. She has neither the time, nor the proficiency to make it serviceable. Though the weapon is tempting, she shakes her head at that as well and looks towards where her own Staff is placed on the ground by her side. She does however note other, more simple things, that could be of more use to her.

(Sylvea takes the following:
* The coin purse
*The Amethyst Ring
*The four thunderstones (she adds these to her own waist, using the belt pouch to keep them close)
*The trail rations
She cleans out the large satchel as best she can from the spoilt food and places those items inside.)



After once again surveying her plunder, she chooses to bite down on one of the hardtack, her strong jaw making short work of the dried, chewy substance. She popped a few apricots in her mouth in an attempt to wash it down. Then, taking the Staff up once more, she chooses to climb the winding stairs upwards. As she goes, she offers yet another silent prayer to Evening Glory for the safety of her sister, and her swift return to her side. The Ghoul's absence is almost beginning to physically pain her - her heart twisting with dread at the unknowable.


(I know i'm being a pain. But could I please have an inventory check? I'm not sure what I lost/retained after my dunking Smile thanks!)

_________________
I clawed my way back from the depths of Hell
just to piss you off
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The House of Ainsley
Keeper of the Dark Mirror
The House of Ainsley

Male Number of posts : 2262
Age : 47
Location : The Dark Heart of Bardosylvania

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion   Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion - Page 5 Icon_minitimeTue Jan 08, 2019 12:17 pm

(You're not being a pain at all!  Keeping players informed about this and that is most of the reason why I'm here in the first place.  Wink

And the good news is that Sylvea didn't lose anything when she splashed down in the river.  So all in all, she now has:


• Staff of the Northern Cross (+20 to next Intuit Direction check, 1x/day)  [wielded]
• Studded Leather Armor (+3 to [Armor] Armor Class, maximal Dexterity adjustment to [Dodge] Armor Class when worn: +4)  [worn]
• Black Skull Goblet (may be used instead of a holy symbol for casting Cleric spells and for attempting to Rebuke Undead)
• Silvered Dagger
• Cleric's Vestment (may be worn alone or underneath armor)
• Wand of Magic Missiles (unleashes Magic Missile spells as if cast by a Level 5 Wizard, 1 charge per casting)  [46 charges left]
• 4 Thunderstones (explode into bursts of light and sound when thrown)
• Trail Rations (a little less than 2 days' worth)
• Solid Amethyst Ring (value unknown)
• Containers: 1 satchel, 1 belt pouch, 1 coinpurse
• Money: 0 Platinum, 114 Gold, 27 Silver, 24 Copper


Sylvea won't be taking any of the ale, then?  Drink is as valuable as food in an adventurer's travels, and ale and other alcoholic drinks are often valued over drinks such as milk and water for rarely — if ever — becoming foul or tainted with disease, though there is the problem of drunkenness if too much is consumed in one sitting.)

And did we ever decide whether Sylvea was wearing her studded leather armor by itself or if she's wearing her cleric gown under it?  It's purely an asthetic choice; either way, at least she's not traipsing around the sewer naked (though at some point, given the climate of Northern Nellowswann by winter, she may want to either invest in some winter clothing or prepare plenty of protective anti-element spells.)


The rotten meat and bread were dumped into the river with Sylvea's grimace of revulsion, and the satchel was briskly refilled with what she had picked from the swordsman's stilled body.  A plaintive gaze studdied the fire-flecked darkness well above her, but no hint of Ariean's person or presence — let alone her state of well-being — was to be had.

But wisdom dictated that waiting for Ariean to find her in such vast expanses would be a fool's gamble.  And so, quelling the tide of emotion stirring in her breast, she set her heel to the stairs and dared to climb further.

But in ascending to the next bend in the gangway, her nerves leaped to perfect tension as an unexpected burst of laughter — laughter devoid of joy, madness or any other emotion at all — erupted somewhere on the path behind...and hardly at all distant.

"...wahhhhhHAW HAW HAW HAWwww..."

A fleeting glance back around the masonry confirmed to Sylvea the source of the soulless laughter: The felled swordsman whose corpse she had just then plundered, now seated upright on the brickwork and staring directly at her retreating form with dull eyes and a slackened, quailing jaw.  And slowly it rolled to reclaim its footing, standing slouched as it turned once again to face Sylvea.

...and then lurched forth, laughing bleakly all the while as it commenced a slow and macabre chase.


Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion - Page 5 Music
"Disturbed and Twisted - Combat"
Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines

Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion - Page 5 MapSylvea031

Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion - Page 5 SylveaAringerille  Sylvea
Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion - Page 5 Zombie03 Laughing Zombie


Laughing Zombie [Init 7] > Shuffling up to 30 feet towards Sylvea
Sylvea [Init 5] >
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Lady Illusion
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion   Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion - Page 5 Icon_minitimeWed Jan 09, 2019 5:17 pm

(ok... so I take your suggestion my dear DM and take the alcohol. The good one. Something I can trade - maybe. I certainly won't imbibe it. I mean... I have Create Water.

Also - Sylvea chooses to use her Black Skull Goblet. The aim being that she avoids direct combat with the zombie and can escape up the stairs without fear of it coming up behind her. She feels like she needs to get up these stairs as quick as she can. Hoping to push it into the water - hoping that it can't swim - kinda like Draven failed to.

Sorry, no flavour text here - just Action Choices. I had this big sort of chant/speech for when Sylvea uses the goblet, but I forgot it and now everything I write sounds lame.... Sad

Also, i'm not sure what we decided before, but I think that Sylvea is the type to wear her Cleric Vestments on the outside of her armor, and that her typical armor is actually designed to be worn beneath them. So, she still seems kind of ethereal due to her being an Elf and she's also still quite slender so the vestments can hide her armor with a few clever alterations.)
 

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion   Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion - Page 5 Icon_minitimeWed Jan 09, 2019 6:57 pm

Wraith wrote:
(ok... so I take your suggestion my dear DM and take the alcohol. The good one. Something I can trade - maybe. I certainly won't imbibe it. I mean... I have Create Water.
Okay.  One full bottle of Auld Trollbeard Ale added to Sylvea's inventory, then.  She may just have to bribe her way past a drunkard one day, and that's just one possible use for a never-opened bottle of ale.  Wink

Wraith wrote:
Also - Sylvea chooses to use her Black Skull Goblet. The aim being that she avoids direct combat with the zombie and can escape up the stairs without fear of it coming up behind her. She feels like she needs to get up these stairs as quick as she can. Hoping to push it into the water - hoping that it can't swim - kinda like Draven failed to.
There are several uses for the Black Skull Goblet: Used as a focus for casting most Cleric spells, used for Rebuking Undead, casting a Light spell on it and using it as a source of light, throwing it at someone as a weapon of desperation, and so on.  But given the rest of your wording here, it seems that Rebuking Undead is what you have in mind.  Is that correct?

Wraith wrote:
Sorry, no flavour text here - just Action Choices. I had this big sort of chant/speech for when Sylvea uses the goblet, but I forgot it and now everything I write sounds lame.... Sad
Get some sleep.  It'll all come back to you once you're awake again.  Wink

Wraith wrote:
Also, i'm not sure what we decided before, but I think that Sylvea is the type to wear her Cleric Vestments on the outside of her armor, and that her typical armor is actually designed to be worn beneath them. So, she still seems kind of ethereal due to her being an Elf and she's also still quite slender so the vestments can hide her armor with a few clever alterations.)
That sounds fair enough.  Light armors (including studded leather, though the bulkiness of hide armor may pose problems...) can fit under a loose robe or gown well enough.  Medium armors (such as scalemail and chainmail) are doable with the right tailoring, but that's pushing it.  Heavy armors (from banded mail to full plate armor) are right out.  So, done deal.  Smile

(Tabards don't really count as clothing. They're just fancy cuts of textile embellished with identifiable bits of heraldry so that you can wear a tabard over your armor and not get killed by your own army buddies on the battlefield.)

But keep the rest of this bit in mind, should Sylvea ever acquire and don a suit of heavier armor.  Clerics are proficient with all grades of armor and can bear shields of any size* as well.

* ...limited by the usual consideration of having too vast a difference between the shield's size and the bearer's size; a gnome can't bear a tower shield made for a human, just as a human can't bear a tower shield made for a giant.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion   Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion - Page 5 Icon_minitimeThu Jan 10, 2019 2:50 am

(Yeah, sorry. Rebuke Undead. Which if my research proves correct, will make it cower and gives it disadvantage on its attack rolls unless I attack it directly within 10 feet? Hopefully it all goes well lol! I'm not sure what we decided Sylvea would be. I feel like she uses both negative and positive energy - so..... yeah. The blood of course is negative energy. An offering to Evening Glory to act through her to achieve her goals. Is this ok? And does it make sense? Because if not, I can edit. Thanks)

Sylvea cast a slightly worried glance down the stairwell. She frowned and looked upwards once again - she felt the need to hurry. There was a sense of urgency about her and having to deal with the dead below her felt like an unnecessary delay.

Muttering to herself, she took her Black Skull Goblet from its confines and sank one of her canines into the pad of her thumb, beginning her internal Chant, she pinched her fingers together and watched as a few droplets of her blood fell into the chalice. Strengthening her chant into audible words, she raised it before her, towards the laughing zombie below her and said, "By the Word of Evening Glory, I deny you. By my Word, I deny you. You shall come no further, cause no harm to me, Touched by Her. You are denied by my Goddess and I. No fear, no pain, no lust. You are nothing to me. You are nothing before," her voice rose in pitch and volume to boom down the steps, "Evening Glory!"


Quietly, she slips her other hand beneath her robes and latches onto the Wand of Magic Missiles.

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion   Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion - Page 5 Icon_minitimeThu Jan 10, 2019 7:36 am

(Given Sylvea's Alignment and the nature of her deity, she's naturally more inclined to work with Negative Energy.  Hence, why her spontaneous casting results in Inflict spells rather than Cure spells.  It won't stop her from wielding Positive Energy as she sees fit, however.  She can still prepare and cast Cure Moderate Wounds spells, as an example, to heal herself or any living friends and allies; it's just that Cure spells, Remove spells (ie. Remove Poison, Remove Disease, Remove Curse...) and other uses of Positive Energy don't come quite as naturally to her, like a chef who specializes in French cuisine suddenly needing to cook German dishes for a special occasion.)

(But all of this sounds pretty solid to me!  In fact, let's give her a wee little bonus to her Rebuke check for all the words, detail and preparation that you invested in it....)


(Sylvea — Rebuke Undead: Overwhelming Success (13))
(Sylvea can attempt to Rebuke Undead twice more today.)


Her pursuer was by no measure a swift one; the first drop of Sylvea's blood dashed against the goblet's smoothly ground basin as the zombie clambered to the top of the stairs and rounded the corner before her, cackling like an old woman poisoned with the derangements of quicksilver.  Her castigating words were not far behind.

"...no pain, no lust.  You are nothing to me!  You are nothing before Evening Glory!"

But the creature's reaction was not entirely as the priestess had expected.  Not cowering, not wailing in anguish nor prostrating itself in contrition, the zombie's jaw slackened and its head canted rightward, gazing blankly at the raised black cup.  The emotionless laughter continued to peal in wet spits from the wretch's throat and maw, but it made no further move against Sylvea.  With the space of a breath later, the zombie's glazed eyes followed the admonishing voice, its head still canted to turn a single torn ear to Sylvea as it watched her lips through an awkward tilt of its face.

...not unlike how Draven had lent his death-numbed attentions to Sylvea not too long before.


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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion   Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion - Page 5 Icon_minitimeFri Jan 11, 2019 5:59 pm

Sylvea waited. She blinked a few times and clutched the Wand tighter in her fist. A few seconds ticked by and the zombie did not move. Either towards her, or away. The occasional hiccup of laughter still escaped its lips, and was rather unnerving, but it remained motionless.

Sylvea took a deep breath then, daring to turn her gaze upwards once more before swiftly turning it back to the zombie. Still, it did not move.

Sighing, she put the goblet away, waiting for any sign of movement from the zombie. Eyeing it, she considered her options. She had never seen this happen before. Most of the undead she had ever encountered had simply fled from her the instant the incantation was finished. A few of the stronger ones had simply slowed their progression to her, allowing her to dispatch them with relative ease. She tried to cast her mind back to her training but couldn't remember hearing of a situation like this. Sighing, she pinched the bridge of her nose with her now free hand.

Deciding to try a small, quick experiment, she raised her palm up and outwards towards the creature. She made sure not to let go of the Wand in her other hand and simply said, "Step Back Once". She tried to keep the command short and simple and used her imperious tone to its fullest.
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The cloudy eyes bore on Sylvea's working lips and tongue for a long second more, its ear still keened as if listening to the priestess. Another sputtering chortle escaped the walking corpse's lips.

"...hwaahhh hahhh hahhhh...!"

And then the zombie slouched forth at the waist as its ponderous left leg, dragging the ball of its foot against the floor, scooted away from Sylvea by an arm's length.  Its posture twisted from one hip to another, compelling the zombie to lean away with a curling flop of its torso, adjusting to the stance of this slip of a retreat.

"...HAAAHhahhhhh hawww...!"


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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion   Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion - Page 5 Icon_minitimeMon Jan 14, 2019 6:45 pm

Sylvea cocked her head to the side and weighed her options. She was alone, with no Draven or Ariean by her side. She was lost - and she still had to puzzle out this nightmare that had come to plague Palemere. Her options now seemed pretty simple. Either go up or down.

She pursed her lips and nodded once to herself, raising her eyes upwards once to offer a prayer of thanks to Evening Glory. She rarely evoked the Goddess's name out loud, preferring to rely on her own skills and merit, but it seemed that She had been listening out for Sylvea's plea for help.

Focusing on the Zombie that stood listlessly below her, she stepped to the side and pressed herself against the wall of the tower. "Go, Up." She gestured up the stairs and didn't attempt to silence the zombie. Whoever was up there might just get the impression that a madman was on its way - and more than likely pay it no heed. She still clutched the Wand, prepared to use it in one hand and her Staff was clutched in the other hand.

She would head up the stairs behind the zombie and allow it to either surprise her enemies, or be surprised by her enemies.

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Uncertain if her hold over the lifeless wretch would endure for long, she ushered the zombie past her and up the stairs to lead their ascent.  The water seemed to fall away into the darkened hollow below as she climbed and climbed further.  But the gangway crested into a stairwell yawning over her, and priestess and zombie alike rose to set foot on the workers' platform above.

The dreadful chanting rose somewhere that was all too near now, to what bearing Sylvea could only hope was the Northwest, its recess dotted with the radiance of two braziers and ten times as many candlelights.  Along that way, one bridge stretched across the expanse, its old, cured oakwood flecked with the dead scum and mildew left from decades of mouldering in this unlit dampness.  Another bridge had its roots in that same platform, but the lay of that bridge was burdened with three stooped figures, shambling in near-blackness.  Sylvea never needed to see their faces, veiled in darkness as they were; their languid slouching and heartless cackling told her everything she needed to know about them.

The three undead had not yet noticed Sylvea and her lackey...or if they had, then they had not yet bothered to stir themselves to action.


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Sylvea hesitated only a moment before murmuring to her zombie thrall, "That way," and pointed towards the bridge that did not have other zombies infesting it. As was her way most of the time, she hoped to avoid conflict at all costs. She didn't mind that her own zombie was still laughing manically, but she herself was as quiet as her heritage and experience could make her.

She still held her wand in one hand and the goblet in the other. This time, she held her wand at her side - free and clear from under her robes and ready for combat. Just because she didn't want to fight, didn't mean she wasn't going to be ready to.

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion   Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion - Page 5 Icon_minitimeWed Jan 30, 2019 3:14 am

(Sylvea — Untrained Listen check (DC ??, +2 for Elf racial affinity): 14)


Leaving the laughing dead well behind, the errant priestess shrewdly chose the bridge less threatened and made her way across, pursuing another dimly cast platform which loomed over the subterranean expanse.  With her every footfall, the sorcerous chanting ahead seemed to swell in volume and intensity.

"...belteth karas surkanos, kael gor berath!  Menios arcas Talonti balvamoria, horis anult..."

The exact meanings of the arcane passages were entirely alien to her, but she had courted the arts of wizardry enough to gather hints of their significance: It was an invocation to the unseemly powers of Pestilence, a call to take...to twist...then to return what had been taken.

The chant fell into a fit of deranged cackling, suggesting that the chanter himself, veiled in darkness and distance, was neither hale nor well.  Well beneath her and the bridge on which she trod, the lively murmuring of the river's flow soon yielded to a more sluggish, heavy lapping.  Her eyes followed her ears with a downward glance over the bridge's tethered edge, finding that the dark water grew darker and discolored as it coursed around the landmass on which the platform and its columns were rooted, polluted with muddy sludge and the ghastly, scarlet shades of a taint which seemed obvious yet was almost certainly best left unconfirmed.

As the distant invoker's maniacal laughter subsided, that of two more slack tongues all too close to Sylvea arose, weaving a dismaying cacophony with her own zombie's empty cackling.  Stood slouching and listless at the platform's nearest corners and edges, the laughing zombies laid their blank gazes on the unfamiliar elf as she drew near.  The copper wand, readied to be raised and incanted at any moment, felt heavy in her sleek, vigilant hand.  For how long had the undead observed her and her erstwhile lackey's approach?  This, she knew not; she could only discern that, although these laughing dead turned their heads to her as she strode and watched her with all their jaded attention, they had yet to stir from where they stood, content to watch yet not once moving to impede.


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Sylvea gripped her wand and moved forwards, her zombie at her side. Even if the others made no move towards her, she was still loathe to leave their meeting to chance. With a small inward prayer, she raised her wand and activated its innate spell at the zombie to her right, commanding her own zombie to attack the one of the left.

(Sorry, been SUPER busy!)

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion   Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion - Page 5 Icon_minitimeWed Mar 27, 2019 7:10 am

(Real life comes first, alas.  I know that fact too well myself.)


Wary of whatever threat the zombies and their presence posed, Sylvea slipped the wand free and aimed it for the cackling zombie watching her from her right field of view.  The mystic word to invoke the wand's latent power once again left her lips, and three radiant orbs raced screaming across the expanse, their twisting trajectories ending in skin-popping bursts against the zombie's mouldering hide.

(Sylvea unleashes the Wand of Magic Missiles at Laughing Zombie 1.  45 charges remain.)
(Laughing Zombie 1 takes 13 Magical Damage.)

The volley of arcane missiles was uncommonly vicious in their strike, and their quarry twisted at the waist and teetered beneath their assault.  The zombie's mate continued laughing just as bleakly, watching Sylvea's commandeered lackey limp across the bridge with raised fists heralding his intent.

One was gravely wounded, and the other was quite clearly half a moment from being attacked by her turncoat comrade.  And yet the two zombies continued to stand where they stood, cackling lifelessly while watching Sylvea both passively and impassively.

And despite the interloping priestess' pre-emptive aggression, the zombies slouching to either side of the bridge's mount neither moved from their places, nor growled with returned aggression, nor made even the least exertion to defend themselves.

And somewhere further into the dark, candlelit hollow beyond, the coarse-throated chanting abruptly ceased.


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Sylvia tried to watch all of her surroundings with half an eye. Her first volley of magic missiles tore into the zombie and she smiled with grim satisfaction. Though it did not respond to the attack in the usual way, Sylvea just kept going. She aimed another attack towards it and unleashed the wand once more.

Sylvia was barely aware of the abruptly ceased chanting, but by now she thought to herself, better to have these two zombies gone, than to have them at her back once she moved forwards.

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion   Chapter Zero: And Death Shall Have No Dominion - Page 5 Icon_minitimeTue Aug 20, 2019 9:37 am

(Sylvea unleashes the Wand of Magic Missiles at Laughing Zombie 1.  44 charges remain.)
(Zombie 1 takes 14 Magic Damage and is now Dead.)
(Sylvea's Experience gain is reduced for slaying a passive creature.  30 Experience is awarded.  But perhaps the efforts will ensure a greater success and its rewards later....)

(Sylvea's Zombie — Slam attack on Laughing Zombie 2 (AC 11): Hit (12))
(Laughing Zombie 2 takes 15 Bludgeoning Damage.)


On her murmured command, the copper wand again spat forth three screeching bolts of raw, mystic energy which veered wildly through the distance yet struck their mark without fail, ejecting fouled gore and shreds of sinew from ragged exit wounds in the walking corpse's back.  Glazed laughter yielded to a gurgled moan as the zombie abruptly thundered to his knees, then teetered and collapsed sideward with the report of skin-bound bone against damp ashlar.

Another blunt report immediately followed, this one from Sylvea's erstwhile thrall sending a swollen fist colliding with the plague zombie remaining of the two watchers, splintering her bone and teeth with a broadly swept backhand strike, a predictable blow which any keen-witted foe could have easily dodged.  But zombies — laughing or elsewise — are far from keen-witted, and from that landed blow, this one reeled half a step away on two wavering feet shod with only one shoe between them.  A lazy moan escaped her unliving lips, but the mockery of deranged laughter swiftly returned.


(I can't get Gametable to work on the new Dell Precision just yet.  Pic's a-coming soon, even if it may not be all that crucial at this moment.)


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